Brooklyn Grange opens NYC’s largest rooftop farm in Sunset Park
Brooklyn Grange Sunset Park, courtesy of Brooklyn Grange
Brooklyn Grange has opened its third rooftop farm at the Liberty View building along the Sunset Park waterfront. The new facility is the largest rooftop farm in New York City, encompassing 140,000 square feet. In addition to a 55,000-square-foot garden, the space also features a 5,000-square-foot greenhouse with microgreen and hydroponic growing areas and a 6,000-square-foot indoor space that will host a range of community events throughout the year.
Brooklyn Grange Sunset Park
The new location is partly funded by a grant from the Department of Environmental Protection, emphasizing the farm’s role in providing critical ecosystem services such as reducing Combined Sewage Overflow and mitigating Urban Heat Island Effect. According to amNY, the location will be able to absorb about 175,000 gallons of water during a storm.
Community events and education opportunities have been a hallmark of Brooklyn Grange’s mission, and the Sunset Park location will provide even more space for their popular programming initiatives which include dinners cooked with the farm’s own ingredients, workshops, yoga, and public open houses every Sunday during the growing season. Brooklyn Grange also partners with organizations like City Growers—a nonprofit focused on bringing “environmental and food literacy” to K-12 students—to host events at their locations.
Brooklyn Grange Sunset Park
“Urbanites are increasingly alienated from nature, but also from their food production systems,” says Anastasia Plakias, one of Brooklyn Grange’s co-founders told amNY. “So much of it takes place behind closed doors and out of sight. We really believe that we have a duty as urban farmers to share our knowledge with our city.”
“We always knew from day one that even if we grew tons of food — and we really do grow tons of food, it’s like 80,000 pounds of vegetables a year — it’s still just a drop in the bucket compared to what New York City eats,” added Gwen Schantz, the farm’s other co-founder. “We knew that we could increase our impact by making our spaces available and accessible to local people through education, through tours, through open visitors days on Sundays.”
Brooklyn Grange opened their 45,000-square-foot flagship in Long Island City in 2010, followed by a 65,000-square-foot rooftop farm at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 2012. Combined, all three locations add up to 5.6 acres of urban agricultural space. So far they’ve been able to produce more than 80,000 pounds of organically-grown veggies a year across two locations, and the new Sunset Park outpost will only increase that number.
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Images courtesy of Brooklyn Grange